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Uchida, published by Routledge 1988, Preface, Chapter 1 and excerpts from following chapters. Preface 1. Doctrine of Notion 2. Doctrine of Being 3. Doctrine of Essence Preface This book deals with the relation between Karl Marx's Grundrisse and the Logic of G. W. F. Hegel. I attempt to prove that the relation is more profound and more systematic than hitherto appreciated. Marx's application of Hegel's Logic to the Grundrisse was first mentioned in a letter, written around 16 January 1858, to Friedrich Engels: In my method of working it has given me great service that by mere accident I had again leafed through Hegel's Logic - Freiligrath found some volumes of Hegel which originally belonged to Bakunin and sent me them as a present. Many students of Marx have referred to the letter and have discussed it, but Marx's use of Hegel's Logic in the Grundrisse has not been fully examined. Let us consider some representative writers who have concerned themselves with the relationship. There are the editors of the original German edition of the Grundrisse (1953). This photocopy edition of the original two volumes of 1939 and 1941 has end-notes, many of which refer to Hegel's Logic. A reader using these notes, however, inevitably fails to find the hidden use of Hegel's Logic in the Grundrisse, because the notes are not based on a correct understanding of Marx's critique. These notes only create confusion. Roman Rosdolsky wrote The making of Marx's 'Capital', the pioneering study of the Grundrisse, whilst 'inhabiting a city whose libraries contained only very few German, Russian or French socialist works', and so he was able to use only 'the few books in his own possessions He nevertheless became aware of the relation of Hegel's Logic to Marx's Grundrisse, and wrote: The more the work advanced, the clearer it became that I would only be able to touch upon the most important and theoretically interesting problem presented by the 'Rough Draft' - that of the relation of Marx's work to Hegel, in particular to the Logic - and would not be able to deal with it in any greater depth. Although he thought that he could only 'touch upon' the problem, and that he could not 'deal with it in any greater depth', he ventured to remark: If Hegel's influence on Marx's Capital can be seen explicitly only in a few footnotes, the 'Rough Draft' must be designated as a massive reference to Hegel, in particular to his Logic irrespective of how radically and materialistically Hegel was inverted! The publication of the Grundrisse means that the academic critics of Marx will no longer be, able to write without first having studied his method and its relation to Hegel.
The fact that Hegells influence on Marx's Capital is largely implicit was suggested in Marx's letter of 9 December 1861 to Engels: '. . . the thing [Critique of political economy 1861 -3] is assuming a much more popular form, and the method is much less in evidence than in Part I' [i.e. A contribution to the critique of political economy of 1859]. This letter relates to the manuscripts of 1861 - 3, but the case is the same with Capital. Compared with Capital (or the manuscripts of 1861 - 3), the Grundrisse has many explicit references to Hegel, to the Logic. Rosdolsky, who studied with 'a number of difficulties', suggested that Marx critically utilised Hegel's Logic in writing the Grundrisse. However, Rosdolsky did not fulfil the task of proving this in his book. Rosdolsky referred eight times to Hegel in his study of the 'Chapter on Money' from the Grundrisse, and nine times when he considered the 'Chapter on Capital'. He indicated a few specific points where Marx's critique of political economy was carried out in reference to the Logic. Most of the examples which Rosdolsky gave his readers are arbitrary and not relevant to the theoretical context of the Grundrisse. This should be said, albeit in the light of the difficulties which he endured whilst writing his study of the Grundrisse, the first variant of Capital. Martin Nicolaus, the English translator of the Grundrisse in the Pelican Marx Library, has a similarly high opinion of the importance of Hegel's Logic in the 'Rough Draft'. In the Foreword to the English translation of the Grundrisse Nicolaus wrote as follows: If one considers not only the extensive use of Hegelian terminology in the Grundrisse, not only the many passages which reflect self-consciously on Hegel's method and the use of the method, but also the basic structure of the argument in the Grundrisse, it becomes evident that the services rendered Marx by his study of the Logic were very great indeed. Readers of Nicolaus's introductory Foreword naturally expect him to refer to the crucial points where the Grundrisse contains a critical application of the Logic. However, this expectation is not fulfilled, though the Grundrisse contains several footnotes to the Logic. Those footnotes are never sufficient to explain how the Logic was critically absorbed as a whole and in detail in the Grundrisse. For example, though Nicolaus properly noted that Marx relates 'production' to Hegel's 'ground', he failed recognise that the reference is intimately connected with Marx's conception of money in its third determination as 'a contradiction which dissolves itself'. The same expression appears just before 'ground' in the Logic. Nor did Nicolaus notice that Marx refers 'means of production' to 'matter' (Materie) and 'labourpower' to 'form' (Form) in the Logic, and he mistranslated the German term Materie as 'material'. Therefore it may be helpful to remind readers of the Nicolaus translation that they should consult the original German text if they wish to rediscover Hegel's Logic in the Grundrisse. Besides Hegel, Aristotle should be considered in connection with philosophical aspects of the Grundrisse. Alfred Schmidt commented on this in his excellent work, The concept of nature in Marx: 'Although the Grundrisse contains an extraordinary amount of new material on the question of Marx's relation to Hegel and, through Hegel, to Aristotle, they have so far hardly been used in discussions of Marx's philosophy.' Marx's comments in his letter of 21 December 1857 to Ferdinand Lassalle are evidence that he was most interested in Aristotle whilst writing the Grundrisse: 'I always had great interest in the latter philosopher [Heraclitus], to whom I prefer only Aristotle of the ancient philosophers.' Schmidt is correct to point out the use of Aristotle in the 'Rough Draft', remarking that Marx approached Aristotle through Hegel. However, Schmidt failed to find any direct use of Aristotle by Marx. As we will see later, Marx does refer directly to him, for instance, when he posits the
Hegel. Whilst writing the Critique of political economy 1861-3. that many forms of fruit really exist. This consciousness of value forms the basic economic relation of bourgeois society. In my view. actually deformed Aristotle's philosophy. or 'reality-possibility'. whom he rated highly as a philosopher.and announces: . which he claims Proudhon misread. in order to prove why and how modern life is developed through the force of capital. but as they are interpreted materialistically their Aristotelian origin shines more clearly through than it does in Hegel himself. Schmidt made a noteworthy suggestion concerning the use of Aristotle in the Grundrisse: Here [in the Grundrisse] Marx tried to grasp the relation of Subject and Object in labour by using pairs of concepts.commodity at the beginning of the 'Chapter on Money' as the concrete instantiation (synolon) of the primary substance (prote ousaia) and the secondary substance (deuterai oustai). but consists in converting his philosophy of alienation and reification into historical categories. even though this subject is in reality a 'thought-product' or abstraction that exists merely in the mind. the fact that he seems to apply the Logic to these manuscripts should not be overlooked. and he used Hegel to inquire why and how modern life is alienated and appears in an idealist form. 4. especially the Logic. when he criticises Pierre-Joseph Proudhon's System of economic contradictions. 6. so 'man' may abstract 'fruit in general' as an idea. however. or the philosophy of poverty of 1846. Marx depended on the corresponding categories of Hegel's logic. Marx implies a simultaneous critique of political economy and of Hegel's philosophy. insisting that at the beginning 'fruit in general' exists as substance. which stem from Aristotle. for example. which presupposes an ideal subject par excellence. This means that the Logic is the most abstract philosophical expression of the bourgeois spirit or consciousness of value. Marx re-reads the Shorter Logic and takes notes from it. His critique of Hegel does not simply reduce his idealism to a materialist basis. which existed in every individual. 3. writing. Marx used Aristotle to construct a materialist basis for his theory. He changed what Aristotle defined as 'active reason'. 5. In Marx's view Proudhon grounded his socialism falsely. However. He characterises the Shorter Logic as 'the money of the spirit'. and it posits many particular forms of fruit as positive subjects. In the Grundrisse of 1857-8 Marx at last develops his critique of political economy and of Hegel's philosophy. and he reads Hegel's 'idea' as a form of bourgeois consciousness. though thinking himself to be the greatest Aristotelian. but also the Encyclopaedia. 2. In the Poverty of philosophy of 1847. According to Schmidt. Although his method of working in these manuscripts is 'much less in evidence'. Marx's use of Hegel's Logic in the formation of Capital can be summarised as follows: 1. in the Afterword to the second German edition of Capital. reverses the process. as already mentioned. Marx attempts to reform Hegel's philosophy using materialist aspects of Aristotle's philosophy. As is well known. In the Economic and philosophical manuscripts (1844) he studies not only the Phenomenology of spirit and the Philosophy of right. Marx reveals the secret of Hegel's philosophy. especially the Logic. Marx recalls his criticism of 'the mystificatory side of the Hegelian dialectic' in The holy family. Hegel. In an immediate sense. into 'substance as subject'. such as 'form-matter'. In The holy family of 1845 he discusses Hegel's mode of presentation. Marx uses a critical reading of the two classics to undermine Proudhon's theory of socialism. He uses these to clarify perverted life in capitalism. of course.
If the relation were not conceptualised this way. In bourgeois society the value-subject also rules nature. here and there in the chapter on the theory of value. the mystical subject. In modern society there is wide-spread acceptance of the legitimacy of one person controlling the product of another's labour. and the other's labour itself. Terrell Carver correctly suggested that Marx's 'rational kernel' is Hegel's analysis of logic and the 'notion'. consists in making a clear distinction between these two aspects and giving concrete examples from the text. and overall his work is directed towards transcending capitalism in practice. This approval is founded on the value-relation and the 'form' of the commodity. it would never become visible as 'an artistic whole'. and body and mind. openly avowed myself the pupil of that mighty thinker. This means that in bourgeois society 'man' and nature. in order to appropriate a surplus product. The correspondence of each part of the Grundrisse to the Logic is briefly summarised as follows: 1. The difficulty in reading Hegel's Logic. and even. The themes of the Grundrisse can be summarised in the following way: For Marx. The Grundrisse is the most suitable text for studying the relation of the critique of political economy to the Logic.. and 'the mystical shell' is Hegel's confusion of categorial movement with reality. so the non-possessor of nature is forced to engage in physical work. This coercion is seemingly non-violent and is legally mediated through the value-relation on which modern property is founded. In the text Hegel describes the process of 'becoming' of the 'notion' as simultaneously the process in which the 'idea'. coquetted with the mode of expression peculiar to him. and therefore there is more evidence of his analysis in it than in Capital. 3. because the subject monopolises physical as well as mental labour. It must be inverted. The Chapter on Capital corresponds to the Doctrine of Essence. 2. Chapter 1 The Introduction to the Grundrisse and the Doctrine of the Notion .I . albeit in a seemingly closed system which reproduces itself. which is mediated by value. which displays his solution. The Grundrisse is the first text in which Marx attempts to relate the 'becoming' of the 'subject' to the categories of political economy. The Introduction corresponds to the Doctrine of the Notion. Hegel's Logic is 'the money of the spirit'. and those who possess enough value also rule the society. Their relation is alienated from the persons who form the relation. and Marx presents it as the demiurgos of bourgeois society. posits itself as reality. in order to discover the rational kernel within the mystical shell. The Chapter on Money corresponds to the Doctrine of Being. They become 'valuesubjects'. the indispensable condition of life. and also embodied in money.. however. With him it is standing on its head. Value is abstract and imagined in the mind. are separated and reconnected through the relation of private exchange. The Logic in fact describes the value-subject abstractly. That is why he characterises the Logic as 'the money of the spirit'. the speculative 'thought-value of man and nature'. His task in the Grundrisse therefore consists in demonstrating that the genesis of value and its development into capital are described in the Logic. Hegel's Logic implicitly ascribes a sort of power to money. The mystification which the dialectic suffers in Hegel's hands by no means prevents him from being the first to present its general forms of motion in a comprehensive and conscious manner.
to begin with. 2. and he inquires if Hegel recognises a historically specific form through which individuals relate to each other. However. Marx asks how individuals are organised socially in order to carry out material production. not in general. if the first section of the Introduction is compared with Hegel’s work on ‘life’ under the ‘idea’ in the Doctrine of the Notion. This appears in his Economic and philosophical manuscripts (1844). material production and society in general terms. The individual body is reproduced as a physical subject through the activities of its various members or organs. the subject only reproduces itself (Shorter Logic§ 218). When Hegel talks about the natural self-reproduction of human life. and assimilate one another. In the first section of Marx’s Introduction to the Grundrisse Hegel does not seem to be relevant to the questions which are discussed. Hegel defines the human individual as the individual in general or the living individual: The first is the process of the living being inside itself. and reduces its corporeity to its object or its inorganic nature. he treats the human body in isolation from the human mind or consciousness. as an aggregate -of correlations. 3. maintain and increase value. so that in these productions nothing is produced except the subject: in other words. In the first section of the Introduction Marx does not directly refer to Hegel by name. Individuals producing in society – hence socially determined individual production – is. but rather capitalist production in particular. Marx asks if Hegel grasps material production in that way. which mutually become each other’s prey. There is an analogy to these activities in Aristotle’s ‘ability to nourish’. Simultaneously he inquires into the historical characteristics of the metabolic system in which ‘man’ and nature are organised. Introduction). Marx asks whether individuals are involved in material production as human beings in a general sense or in historically specific societies. This is accomplished through a critique of political economy as follows: 1. He thinks that when human beings obtain food they not only ingest calories but also generate and express their culture. Rather he explicitly criticises the political economists (Adam Smith. the point of departure (Grundrisse. The human body is separated from the human mind.Production in general and ‘the life-process’ Marx begins the Introduction to the Grundrisse as follows: The object before us. he also implies a critique of Hegel. it becomes evident that Marx is implicitly considering Hegel’s theory of ‘life’ in the Logic in relation to the economists’ theories of material production. David Ricardo. Yet this action of the several members is only the living subject’s one act to which their productions revert. In the above quotation human being is defined as ‘living being’. according to Marx the specific characteristic of human life is that it has consciousness. In that process it makes a split on its own self. The object of political economy is material production. and asks if Hegel properly addresses the problems this poses. however. and are retained by producing themselves. material producttion. Capital necessitates specific mental activities to mediate. etc. enters in its very nature into difference and opposition of its elements. . However. of course. This corporeity.) for defining historically-determined individuals. In the quotation above.
Hegel remarks that ‘man’ not only maintains ‘himself’. treats the process of reproduction as spontaneous. is the action of the self-assured living thing. In Marx’s view ‘man’ is born from nature with physical and mental abilities united. Marx sees in Hegel’s account the bourgeois division of labour into physical and mental activities. Marx’s materialism should be understood in this way. taking the superiority of mental labour over physical for granted. Hegel unconsciously describes the wage-worker when he defines ‘man’ in the metabolic process simply as a physical existence. being implicitly null. develops. In this view Marx finds certain characteristics of bourgeois private property. After that definition he discusses mental activity in a way that is indifferent to material life. The dialectic by which the object. which in this process against an inorganic nature thus retains. to discharge the objective [physical] or bodily nature as an independent totality from itself. and objectifies itself (Shorter Logic § 219). or in the ‘genus’. is now seen to be mediated and generated.. defines human beings as mere existence. He finds it in the sexual relation between man and woman.Hegel. needs and thought. Hegel. the living individuality. but develops and objectifies ‘himself’. which. and the negative relation of the living thing to itself makes. this development and objectification depend on the natural unity of physical and mental activities. on account of its first . However. It is a limitation of Hegel’s work that he defines ‘man’ in the metabolic process as a mere physical existence. the living individual.. the presupposition of an inorganic nature confronting it . is merged. Human beings engage in their own process of reproduction with both material and mental capabilities united as a whole. alien to human sensibility. as free. On the other. In the quotation above Hegel defines the metabolic process of man with nature. but with mental ones that are inseparable from them. In Marx’s view human beings are born not only with nutritive capabilities. Life being no more than the immediate idea. Can ‘man’ produce wealth without mental ability? In Hegel’s conception of man a specific aspect of the bourgeois economy becomes evident. however. the product of this process breaks up into two sides. Marx’s second task is to examine Hegel’s conception of the origin of society. and obtains the means of life and enjoys them. From Marx’s point of view it is a misunderstanding to accept Hegel’s conception of the physical elements in ‘man’s metabolism with nature as a general definition common to every form of production. Human life is maintained in the metabolic process of individuals with nature. Hegel takes up ‘man’ as a merely physical existence and only later (Shorter Logic § 222) does he introduce mental abilities. Marx notes that Hegel is silent on the separation of labour into physical and mental that is characteristic of capitalism. on the contrary. This is the aspect in which the physical labourer (wage-worker) carries out material production under the command of a mental labourer (capitalist). ‘Man’ constantly works on nature outside ‘him’. as immediate individuality. and does not inquire into the specific mode of human life which varies regionally and historically. The unity of physical and mental abilities is subsequently separated by the bourgeois value-relation. On the one side. by contrast. which was at first presupposed [or pre-posited] as immediate. Bourgeois private property separates physical and mental labour by means of exchangerelations based on private property. as follows: The process of genus brings it to Being-for-itself. On that point Hegel writes: But the judgement of the Notion proceeds.
sinks in the superior power of the latter (Shorter Logic § 221). (c.g. though these arguments are not consciously made. Hegel evidently thinks that even if an individual dies. and they express themselves in sexual relations to bear their child. final cause. men and women relate to each other in a determinate society. are separated and mental ability is superior to and rules over physical. Parents become aged and die.e. In other words. They leave behind not only their culture but material wealth or civilisation. The specificity of society is manifested in the sexual relation as well. The very image of the independent person. Although they die as individuals. alcohol-ism or capital-ism. eidos). stands in a negative attitude towards generality. Hegel’s ‘ideal-ism’ may be interpreted as a state in which the idea is dominant as a positing subject. the culture and civilisation which their parents have left them. abstracting from the society in which he actually lives. The standpoint from which Hegel considers ‘man’ indicates that he takes it for granted that most ‘men’ are socially determined as a physical existence alienated from mental activity. If it is possible to say that as the suffix ‘-ism’ may express some sort of state in which something is dominant. In Hegel’s idealism Marx sees the abstract reflection of modern civil society or capitalism where the ideal subject. a new individual. and the social relation of individuals as a merely sexual relation. . In reality. He abstracts their historically specific social characteristics. who takes the role of. In that form of society physical ability (causa efficiens. The spirit which has emerged from the death of the individual and has become independent is Aristotle’s ‘active reason’. Introduction). efficient cause. This is the third point in his implicit critique. so ‘the living being dies’ (Shorter Logic § 221).f Science of Logic pp 772-4) Their relationship is not simply a physiological relation. appropriated by Hegel. ‘being-for-itself’ is the reproduction of ‘man’ as child through the sexual relationship between man as father and woman as mother. e. However. Here (Shorter Logic § 221) the individual breaks into man and woman. in preparation since the sixteenth century and making giant strides towards maturity in the eighteenth’ (Grundrisse. in his Logic Hegel expresses a specific form of society as natural or universal. is dominant. e. after their deaths human beings leave various forms of spiritual wealth which continue to exist through being appreciated by the living. the process of metabolism as production in general. Hegel’s ‘idea’ displays the influence of Aristotle’s theory of ‘active reason’. but one in which they produce a future for their child. increasing value. Hegel mistakes the appropriation of spiritual wealth by the living for a spirit independent of human beings. Hegel’s discussion of ‘being-for-itself’ in the Logic argues that the individual expresses himself in relation to another. the human spirit remains. the Robinson Crusoe-type. archë) and mental ability (causa finalis. i. they are in fact an abstraction of specific aspects of historical reality. Through the level of development of their society it is determined how much their relationship is humanised. Hegel presupposes the individual in general. However. so to speak. their hope.immediacy. Hegel writes: ‘The death of merely immediate and individual vitality is the emergence of spirit’ (Shorter Logic § 222). but instead takes this association to be a purely natural or sexual one. However. Though his definitions appear naturalistic. they live in their child. a mirror. Their children live with a power ruling over society.g. is but ‘the anticipation of "civil society". Hegel does not ask in what form of society individuals as men and women conduct this relationship. Hegel thus defines the individual merely as a physical being. He thinks that the separation of mental activity from physical is natural as a matter of fact and that modern private property is a manifestation of this.
.Hegel treats the metabolic process of ‘man’ with nature as a natural process or production in general. though the political economists seem to describe production in general. Critique of political economy and production in general In the second section of the Introduction to the Grundrisse. Capital itself necessitates and posits a specific person. distribution and exchange. He defines mental activity only as ‘recognition’. Rather he is concerned with mental activity in the capitalist economy. that is. and exchange and production – derived from the four categories of political economy production. he indicts capitalist production by defining the subject of the metabolic process as a merely physical labourer divorced from mental labour. Capital is personified in the capitalist. he perversely generalises capitalist production. Whereas Hegel abstracts the human being into a merely physical existence. In a certain respect Marx finds that Hegel’s subject implies a specific person engaged in capitalist activity. The capitalist orders the worker to labour in material production. who mediates it.. Hegel’s idealism. This is determined by the circuit of productive capital. In the Shorter Logic Hegel discusses ‘life’ (Shorter Logic § § 216 – 222) only as a physical life carried out by physical labour. consumption. The definition of capital given by Adam Smith and David Ricardo. Marx considers three pairs of concepts – consumption and production. The capitalist has a mission to measure capital-value.. The absence of mental labour in his definition of material life is a clue to certain features of his work. eternally reproduces itself as a process of recognition. As we will see later in detail. P). he unconsciously reproduces capitalist production from the theoretical standpoint of the capitalist. even though Hegel does not appear by name. distribution and production. the ‘subject’ in the Doctrines of Being and of Essence is an ideal subject par excellence. so Hegel explains. In fact Hegel’s conception represents for Marx the demiurgos of bourgeois society: value and capital. giving an account of its potential and essence. Consumption and production . The capitalist’s mental activity continues in the process of circulation which actualises this possibility. The validity of this undertaking will become apparent when we consider the third section of his Introduction. which he treats as an activity of the human mind on a level quite separate from physical life. comes from such a reification of self-increasing value. they in fact describe capitalist production from the standpoint of the circuit of productive capital (P . And he demonstrates that.. where the determinations of capital are invisible. especially in the Logic. That person appears as the spiritual subject of an organism which. which has to be maintained and increased in prospect during production. and in this Marx finds a crucial problem. in which capital is represented as a mere condition of production. who internalises its value in -capitalist consciousness. without acknowledging this. Marx explicates what Hegel has expressed only implicitly. Marx sees the capitalist division of labour and production lurking behind Hegel’s abstraction. Marx again undertakes a critique of Hegel in the form of a critique of political economy. In considering production in general Marx takes the human mind and body to be naturally united. This unity is broken by the capitalist division of labour in which the capitalist appears as mental labourer and the wage-worker as physical labourer. expresses the capitalist mode of production abstractly. the capitalist. Unawares. Although Hegel seems to define the process of human life as one in which ‘man’ engages only as a physical existence. C-M-C . then moves on to recognition’ (Shorter Logic§ 223 – 235). Then he clarifies the permutations between each pair of categories in order to show that they form a self-producing totality. as we will see later in Chapter 3. He acknowledges this problem but does not confine himself to mental aspects of human labour in his discussion of production in general.
2. but with some knowledge of production and a revitalised morale. is individual consumption always unproductive? The individual returns to the process of production afterwards. In this sense. bring into focus the distribution of a net product or surplus product amongst industrial capitalists and landlords. and it is between them that the conditions of production are distributed. not only with physical abilities reproduced. and he does not take it up in relation to production. with respect to the relation of production to consumption. which is to be invested as capital in production.Marx sets the pair in reverse order so production is last. and he emphasises parsimony as a subjective fact in capitalist accumulation. he believes that the movement of capital starts from production. However. taking labourpower for granted as a natural presupposition. Smith sees the process from the standpoint of the circuit of productive capital. so in this way any funds to reproduce the lives of workers appear as costs to be reduced. He merely affirms consumption when it is productive. Ricardo considers only the means of production. so reproducing the capital relation. The subjective factor belongs to and is monopolised by the capitalist. In this lacuna there lies the crucial problem of the distribution or alienation of the conditions of production in capitalism. for Marx the most basic relation in capitalism is the one between capitalist and wage-worker. he considers individual consumption as an act apart from production. However. The process of capitalist production is as follows: 1. such as David Ricardo. distribution or separation of the conditions of production. The political economist omits the subjective aspect of reproduction. and to proceed back to production in this circuit of productive capital. Marx defines three kinds of exchange: . which is the basic presupposition of capitalism. He thinks that individual consumption is unproductive and should be restrained in order to increase capital-stock. Exchange and production We find the same problems here. analysing the rate of distribution of profit or surplus-value which determines the rate of capitalist accumulation. Though he asserts that the purpose of production is individual consumption. Therefore the relations of distribution include not only the distribution of surplus-value but the distribution or separation of the subjective and objective conditions of production. This order gives a clue to his critique of the political economists. This distribution or separation is presupposed historically when the process of capitalist production begins and then brings about these alienated conditions as effects. in fact he theorises production for the sake of production. The means of production belong to the capitalist. distribution of surplus-value. Here we find the same problems as above. Because Adam Smith studies capital from the viewpoint of the circuit of productive capital. and this is the same with the other two pairs. and labour-power to the wage-labourer. Therefore. By contrast Ricardo’s order of things is to consider production by way of the distribution of surplus-value. production of surplus-value. which is typically shown to move from consumption back to production. Political economists. But why does the political economist abstract from the subjective factor? This is because production is considered from the capitalist standpoint. even when he considers exchange. Ricardo is an economist of distribution and capitalist accumulations. 3.
. nor is it comprehensible to him that the increase of value begins with an exchange between labourpower as a commodity and money as capital. is the determination from which capital originates... immediate exchange. since to him it is a process for obtaining the conditions of production. when it serves to increase value. distribution and exchange. C' – M'). A.. Therefore he defines money merely as a means of exchange. For Marx the essential nature of exchange is manifested in the third form. so what economists call ‘production in general’ is not transhistorical. he treats human beings as a merely physical existence. Smith cannot see beneath the circuit of money-capital. which increases capital-value. which signifies an increase in value. or production which includes the determinations of capital. C-M-C . The content of this kind of exchange is represented by an increase in money or value (M' – M= ΔM)... consumption. Exchange in the second section of the Introduction to the Grundrisse.e. the circuit of productive capital (P . commodity-exchange. The nature of exchange. In the abstraction and omission that we find in Hegel’s account there are hidden away the capitalist determinations of production. which functions as an end in itself (M – C – M'). In the lacunae in their analyses are buried the capitalist determinations of these four categories.. is not visible to Smith. life-process. . Marx analyses the capitalist determinations of production. From Smith’s viewpoint. M – C – C' – M'. at the end of this progress. The nature of this omission is the same with Hegel. distribution and exchange as moments of capital. The third form of exchange listed above includes the process of realising surplus-value (C' – M'). is in fact the correct analytical order for revealing the capitalist determinations of the four categories which prima facie constitute ‘production in general’. Exchange. the process of capitalist production begins with an exchange between capital and labour-power in order to link the distributed conditions of production which are productively consumed in the production process.. but is in fact production based on capital. species which in reality exist as moments of capitalist production. Marx’s order of analysis. 3. The essential nature of exchange is shown in the form of circulation.. When he mentions ‘life’ (human individual). however. both of which are productively consumed in order to produce surplus-value in the process of capitalist production. and moreover it turns into a movement to produce as an end in itself. The mental labour of the capitalist in pursuing an increase in the value of capital also appears as if it produces material wealth. independent exchange. it is secondary.. because it moves within the visible circuit of productive capital. P). C' – M' – M – C .. i. which links labourers within a division of labour in commercial society (P . abstracting the human mind as the subject of ‘recognition’. 2. but without commodity-exchange. including science and technology. P). Consumption to B. He keeps silent about the human mind when he considers the three subjects – life. Because money-capital is powerful enough to link the separate conditions of production. Distribution to C. It is from this standpoint that Smith observes exchange. This movement towards increasing value subsumes production (M – C .1. ‘life-process’ (the process of metabolism between man and nature) and ‘species’ (social relation) in which the individual is linked with others. P . the productive power of social labour appears as if it were an aspect of capital. which links labourers within a division of labour.. As we have just seen. consumption.
always begin with the living whole. and classification’ At the beginning of the third section of Marx’s Introduction to the Grundrisse. Petty compares three superpowers. there began the economic systems. not merely of Britain. He thus descends from the nation down to money. the Netherlands and England. value.that is contrary to the analytical order in which he considered these categories in the second section. He ascends from the simple category ‘division of labour’ to exchange. nation. the Genus or Force and Law. . division of labour. the accumulation of capital and lastly to the revenue of the state. so he considers his method and system or plan. such as labour. but employs a synthetic order – exchange or circulation. need. Its activity therefore consists in analysing the given concrete. but they always conclude by discovering through analysis a small number of determinant. Moreover when Marx asserts that the systematic method with which we ascend from the abstract or ‘the simple’ to ‘the concrete’ or the complex is scientifically correct. money. He handles this task in the third section of the Introduction to the Grundrisse. As soon as these individual moments had been more or less firmly established and abstracted. Or it leaves the concrete as a ground. he evidently follows Hegel. and by setting aside the unessential-looking particulars. distribution. This is the analytical method (Shorter Logic § 227). etc. several states. to the level of the state.Marx’s next task is therefore to inquire just how to demonstrate the genesis of capital. The latter is obviously the scientifically correct method (Method of Political Economy). and finally consumption. Marx’s characterisation of the method of the seventeenth-century economists is based on this definition of ‘analytical method’ by Hegel: While finite recognition presupposes what is distinguished from it as something already found and confronting it – the various facts of external nature or of consciousness – it has. state. but of all nations. which ascended from the simple. exchange-value. Here Marx takes William Petty’s Political arithmetick of 1690 as representative of the economic works of the seventeenth century. and he demonstrates how the division of labour brings about material abundance even among the middle and lower classes of society. He inquires into the causes of the power of nations and concludes that it lies in the money necessary to employ wage-workers in manufacture. abstract. in which Smith inquires into the nature and causes of wealth. It is often cited because in it Marx spoke of ascending and descending methods: The economists of the seventeenth century. etc. France.. This is indicated by Marx’s use of Hegel’s terminology ‘through analysis’ and ‘the simple’ in the quotation above. and giving them the form of abstract generality. then distribution or separation and reconnection. exchange between nations and the world market. The method of political economy and ‘analytical method. we find the following paragraph. e. general relations such as division of labour. with population. 1. but also of Hegel. Marx is conscious not only of Petty and Smith. brings into relief a concrete general.g. synthetic method. in the first place. However. For the ascending method Marx turns to Adam Smith’s The wealth of nations of 1776. The wealth of nations thus reflects the ascending method. including industrial and individual . The method of political economy. formal identity or the abstraction of generality for the form of its action. isolating its differences. the simple.
the method of the seventeenth-century economists coincides with what Hegel defines as ‘analytical method’. It functions in a spiral because it subsumes definitions which have been posited as presuppositions (‘the pre-posited’ [Voraus-Setzung]). while Marx defines ‘the first path’. For example. as we can see from the discussion of reproduction in Book II of The wealth of nations. to capital investment (Chapter 5). in the former the starting-point is given by the general (as a definition). to profit and interest (Chapter 4). He does this in demonstrating the self-creation of the ‘idea’. Marx gives a critical assessment of Hegel’s synthetic method: The concrete is concrete because it is the concentration of many determinations. Hegel says that the synthetic method is ‘the development of the moments of the notion’. distribution. This task also encompasses a critique of Hegel’s Logic. i. not as a point of departure. as a process of concentration. so he materialises capital-value. It starts from the simplest definition. The latter starts from the individual. by itself. and proceeds to exchange. Marx thinks that Smith displays the material aspect of capitalist production.e. proceeding from the abstract or general and then particularising to the individual instance. arguing that both classic authors take capitalist production to be natural. However. But the method of eighteenth-century economists follows what Hegel calls ‘synthetic method’ defined as follows: The movement of the synthetic method is the reverse of the analytical method. It appears in the process of thinking. the method of descending from the concrete to the abstract.According to Marx. as a result. In that way the material aspect is subject to the formal. In this way Hegel fell into the illusion of conceiving the real as the product of the thought concentrating itself. reproduces it as the spiritually concrete. from which we proceed by particularising (in classification) to the individual (the theorem). overlooking the formal aspect. the abstract determinations lead towards a reproduction of the concrete by way of thought. which is in fact the value-consciousness characteristic of the bourgeois. along the second. probing its own depths. Smith does not explicate the determinations of capital. but Marx exposes this as capitalist production described from the viewpoint of the capitalist. whereas the method of ascending from the abstract to the concrete is only the way in which thought appropriates the concrete. hence unity of the diverse. to productive labour (Chapter 3). The wealth of nations systematically reflects the synthetic method. and reproduction or accumulation of capital. These themes are considered in a spiral as factors of reproduction. but rather describes them in physical terms as natural or as ‘production in general’. Hegel-defines the analytical method as analysing the concrete and finding an abstract general form. But this is by no means the process by which the concrete itself comes into being (Method of Political Economy). Along the first path the full conception was evaporated to yield an abstract determination. to division of revenue (Chapter 2). even though it is described by Hegel as natural. division of labour or production. even though it is the point of departure in reality and hence also the point of departure for intuition and conception. Hegel’s Logic is the self-creation of the ‘idea’. This in order – from . The synthetic method thus presents itself as the development of the moments of the Notion on the objects (Shorter Logic § 228). What Marx calls ‘the first path’ is based on Hegel’s analytical method. Marx criticises ‘production in general’ as defined in The wealth of nations and then redefines it as historically determined. quoted above. whereas Hegel expresses the formal or ideal aspect. as the process in which the concrete is dissolved into an abstract determination. in Book II reproduction develops in the following order: from division of stock or capital (Chapter 1). therefore. Marx calls this the method of ascending from the abstract to the concrete’. and proceeds to the general. and unfolding itself out of itself.
What Hegel says in ‘the development of the moments of the notion’ signifies for Marx that reality is mentally reproduced and appropriated as the concrete concept. Marx reveals the determinations of capital within what the economists treat as a purely material system of production. particularity. M 567). This reflects Hegel’s triad – generality. as the social logic of value-consciousness in the person who recognises value in property. The relation of private exchange necessitates a subjective or ideal activity to equate products and to effect their exchange. the activity becomes a subject which appears as if it should posit the concrete or the real. individuality – in the Doctrine of the Notion. This is a totality of manifold determinations in the mind. So why has Marx compared his method with Hegel’s and in fact praised his synthetic method as scientifically correct? Why. For him. thinking means actualising the real. i. Generality of Capital. particularity and individuality? Here Marx intends critically to absorb Hegel’s idealism. By-contrast Marx insists that the concrete concept. because he thinks that the process of thinking is the same as that of positing something in actuality. towards particularity or judgement. II. in constructing the Chapter on Capital. The Logic is the most abstract description of the ‘idea’. Marx’s critical absorption of the Logic is one of the important factors in his critique of political economy. Individuality of Capital. In short. He does not distinguish between the two processes. III. Marx’s work is supplemented by a critique of the political economy of Smith and Ricardo. because he is ignorant of the fact that alienation is historical par excellence. the idealism through which Hegel unconsciously describes capitalism. and therefore the only labour which he recognises is alien. As Hegel is ‘a vulgar idealist’. bourgeois society. which he and Hegel take as their object of study. Particularity of Capital. posits the concrete or the real.e. which objectives itself as the demiurgos of the universe through its spiritual labour. . Marx thus turns the two doctrines of the objective logic into objective moments of the mental reproduction of the concrete. in which the ideal subject (value) is dominant. However. and categories in the Doctrine of Essence develop from generality or the ‘notion’ itself. This is because these economists unconsciously reify or transubstantiate value-consciousness into material products. Therefore Marx’s critique of Hegel’s idealism is a critique of pseudo-naturalism and pseudohistoricism. is Marx applying Hegel’s triad of generality. The relations of private property then divide human activity into mental and physical labour. who describe material aspects of capitalist production but are indifferent to its ideal aspects. In the Economic and philosophical manuscripts (1844) Marx has already detected the perverse character of the Logic. so categories in the Doctrine of Being become presuppositions of the notion of capital. Hegel regards the synthetic method as the process in which the real or concrete is posited. and mental labour rules over physical. Marx reads the Logic as a work in which the ideal subject or ‘idea’ alienates itself.the general by way of particularising to the individual instance – represents Hegel’s synthetic method. so Smith and Ricardo are ‘vulgar materialists’ (N 687. Because of that. spiritual labour. really exists outside the minds of those who think about it. Hegel accepts a reversal of ideas and reality as a natural fact and describes it in the Logic. including the drive to self-expansion. writing that Hegel grasps the positive aspect of labour ‘within alienation or abstraction’. Hegel takes alienation in the Logic to be natural. In Marx’s work this is reflected in the triadic composition of the Chapter on Capital in the Grundrisse as I. and mistake it for what is purely material. and up to individuality or syllogism. and it is to be understood as a reading of the Logic as an account of value-consciousness in persons who represent the ideal character of modern private property.
Marx argues in economic terms that the product undergoes a transformation into the commodity. Hegel defines ‘determinate being’ (Dasein) or ‘what is there’ as a reproduction of ‘what has already been’ (Gewesen) or as the existence of ‘essence’ (Wesen). and thus continues to reproduce itself. Indeed both Hegel and Marx posit ‘the general’ at the outset. exchange-value. At first the concrete is abstracted into ‘the simple’. though for each the content is different. Therefore once something is ‘pre-posited’. which he derives from Chapter 5 on money of Book I of The wealth of nations. The logical circulation of self-reproduction begins just after the logical presuppositions have been established. Then capital as subject posits the product. That is the way an organic system reproduces itself. Hegel does not inquire if these logical presuppositions are independent of their historical actuality or not. Rather ‘the simple’ changes into ‘the complex" and then ‘the simple’ is determined as what ‘the complex’ has posited. which is composed of particular moments. They are forms of existence of capital. Hegel writes: The general is in and for itself the first moment of the Notion because it is the simple moment. and the particular is only subsequent to it because it is the mediated moment. M 36). the commodity into money. The first ‘determinate beings’ (product. and money into capital. ‘Determinate being’ is what has been posited by ‘essence’. What is at first ‘pre-posited’ or presupposed is then posited and reproduced as a result. (Science of Logic p 801) ‘The general’ is simple and abstract enough to develop by mediating particular determinations under itself.e.Marx considers where a systematic critique of political economy should start. ‘the simple’. It is an eternal subject. though he writes a good deal about history. Neither Hegel nor Marx conceives the progress from ‘the simple’ to ‘the complex’ in a onesided way. is that which already presupposes the transition from a first. proceeding from ‘the general’ by particularisation up to the moments of ‘the individual’ or ‘one determined totality’. as in itself differentiated and so mediated. Accepting Hegel’s view that the end of an analysis is the same as the starting point of a synthesis. Employing this demonstration. and then ‘the simple’ is developed into the ‘notion’. and conversely the simple is the more general. ‘The concrete’ is 'the manifold’ or ‘the complex’. i. or whether the first ‘pre-positings’ or presuppositions were originally manifested in the course of history and then receded as capitalism developed. However. it posits the same presupposition as a result. whereas Marx’s is historical in form. and he finds that they were posited historically. money. an ‘individual’ instance. This forms the circle of ‘pre-positing’ or presupposition and ‘positing’ or ‘the posited’. taking up ‘the simplest economic category’ (N 101. and noting that from money comes capital. possession. he inquires where the first presuppositions were given. Marx confirms this in economic categories. He traces them back to their point of departure. the commodity and money. commodity and money) are what is posited by the ‘essence’ (capital). i. The point at which Marx departs from Hegel is his judgment on whether this circulation is merely logical. This has become an ideal subject independent of the persons who live within the social relationship of private exchange. Hegel’s ‘the general’ is the ‘self-cause’ which has no historical origin. taking the historical subject to be . exchange and labour in general. forming a circulation which looks as if it should exist forever. it is then repeatedly posited as the next ‘pre-posited’ or presupposition. inquiring where and how money is generated.e. and the concrete. the alienated relation of private exchange. Marx argues that once the logical presupposition is given.
e. ‘The simple’ in Marx’s ascending or synthetic method is therefore a presupposition which was posited in history. Marx uncovers the capitalist economy itself in the Logic. and he begins his demonstration of the genesis of money by considering the value-form and the process of exchange. or cause and effect. bourgeois society is not a closed society. Marx touches on how commodityexchangers take part in the formation of money without being aware of this equation. At this point commodity-owners share their value-consciousness intersubjectively in the money in which their consciousness is materialised. As the demiurgos it posits itself in the Logic. In short. At the beginning of the Chapter on Capital Marx defines capital as the generality which increases value. By contrast Hegel unconsciously describes it in the Logic as a closed system which the ideal subject regenerates and reproduces infinitely as its own organism. as Marx argues later. In the Chapter on Money he reveals the way in which this bourgeois consciousness is ideally expressed through the relation of private exchange. and he descends analytically to primitive accumulation. value is separated from them through the equation of their commodities. Marx asserts that reproductive circulation was the historical presupposition for the bourgeois economy. and on that proof he grounds his account of the historical origin and development of ‘the simple’ as the primitive community and primitive accumulation. the circuit of money-capital and the accumulation of capital in the Grundrisse.g. changing its temporal forms. value produces value-consciousness. In the market. And it will cease to exist. Marx reads the Logic as the phenomenology or genesis of the value-consciousness described in the Chapter on Money and the Chapter on Capital in the Grundrisse. which are separated in primitive accumulation. Using that methodology he criticises Hegel. and eventually to the first capitalist crisis in 1825. which mediates capital. The first logical presupposition reproduces itself and as a result it generates the next presupposition. Marx uses a logico-historical method when he starts to demonstrate that the bourgeois economy is a system which reproduces itself. It becomes the immanent moment of logical circulation. Using this demonstration he shows how the first presuppositions were posited in early capitalism: from exchange in the thirteenth century. Hegel does this in his theory of ‘positing reflection’ and ‘causality’ in the Doctrine of Essence with respect to the bourgeois economy. This is caused by the development of fixed capital. but is dependent on the past and open to the future. His ideal subject or ‘Idea’ is in fact an abstract expression of value. who assumes that presupposition and result. Through alienated relations. Capital links the presuppositions or conditions of production. through the annulment of the law of value. on the presumption that their commodities have equivalent value in the first place. it posits nature in the Philosophy of nature. The capitalist mediates these concrete forms of value as the incarnation of capital-value in a circular motion. In this demonstration he uses a logico-historical order.what is natural. which leaves disposable time to be enjoyed when human emancipation is achieved. . to the industrial revolution from the last half of the eighteenth century. This is in fact the relationship of commodity-owners in the market. By reading Hegel’s ‘idea’ as the intersubjective value-consciousness of the bourgeoisie. This demonstrates that the value-form generates capital. Capital-value then posits capitalist consciousness as a capitalist who ideally identifies particular concrete forms of value with an abstract capital-value. which is analogous to Hegel’s definition of ‘being-for-itself’. should continue infinitely to form a logical circulation. and it posits humankind in the Phenomenology of spirit. But at first lie takes ‘the simple’ to be a logical presupposition. to manufacture from the sixteenth century onwards.
. landed property . has become its content or purpose. reflects the order found in Hegel’s work in the Doctrine of the Notion: ‘The statement of the second moment of the notion. the capitalist aims at ‘form as content’. M 187. and the wage-labourer is subject to capitalist consciousness. When he evaluates Hegel’s synthetic method as the way to reproduce the real. Marx's discussion of method and ‘the simple’.. Concentration of bourgeois society in the form of the state . the wage-labourer produces not only surplus-value which belongs to the capitalist. ‘The simple’ at the beginning of systematic explanation is also ‘the general’ or differentia specifica..The capitalist carries on an exchange with the wage-labourer as a private owner with an equal title. Thus the law of value ceases to operate. which strives to increase capital-value.. After the plan just quoted Marx made other plans in the Chapter on Money (N 227-8. and it becomes evident that capital itself is the accumulation of the surplus labour of wage-labourers. he does not accept it as a merely formal explanation. The wage-labourer. through this exchange. The world market and crisis (Method of Politcal Economy). Then capital-value consciousness loses ground and begins to vanish. N 275. M 199). 4. The international relation of production . and ‘the absolute idea' In the fourth and final section of the Introduction to the Grundrisse Marx makes eight notes on the problems he has kept in mind: . In considering ‘disposable time’ Marx argues that value-consciousness arises from the exchange-relation of commodities.. This triadic plan is manifested throughout the Chapter on Capital of the Grundrisse. must engage in material production. Particularity of Capital and III. The wage-labourer produces the capital-labour relation.. 3. these plans are composed in the triadic order I. The plans in the Chapter on Capital are clearer. In that way commonplace bourgeois consciousness can be broken down and antagonistic consciousness can emerge. Following Hegel. The categories which make up the inner structure of bourgeois society and on which the fundamental classes rest. But in the course of capitalist development. followed by his classificatory plan. Individuality of Capital. As a result. which is value. as is shown in the classification above. Capital. Mode of production and ideology. who is now subsumed under the process of the production of capital as mere variable capital. and it becomes particularised. 2. which is presupposed as the product of ‘individual immediate labour’. However. II. abstract determinations . is classification in accordance with some external consideration’ (Shorter Logic § 230). so the form of exchange. or of the determinateness of the general. 5. M 151 – 2) and the Chapter on Capital (N 264. because the labour objectified in the product decreases to a minimum. but as a real mode of demonstration based on the dramaturgy of the birth and death of value-consciousness. wage-labour. that sort of labour is replaced by 'collective scientific labour’. but also a loss of property for wage-labourers themselves. A new consciousness is born as the wage-labourer suspects that capitalist property is against the interests of wage-labourers. In that way Marx’s phenomenology of spirit is developed in the Grundrisse. The general. Generality of Capital. Eventually this develops into a free society. leaving behind proletarian consciousness. This arises through technological innovation embodied in machinery or fixed capital. Marx’s plan is as follows: The classification obviously has to be 1...
The uneven development of material production relative to e.. But legitimation of chance. M 81). artistic development. How. at the beginning of the Chapter on Money we find the following paragraph. in general. philosophy. Marx reveals this logic of modern value-consciousness. Roman private law .1. In general. Secondary and tertiary matters. which are only histories of religions and states . in one aspect as a specific product whose natural form of determinate being [natürliche Dasein] ideally contains (latently contains) its exchange-value (money). the last book of the Logic. Namely of the so-called histories of culture. the Chapter on Money in Marx's Grundrisse corresponds to the Doctrine of Being in Hegel's Logic. owing to war and in the armies etc.. (Of freedom also . This occurs in the Doctrines of Being and of Essence. but as a perverse expression of capitalist production. difference. Marx investigates the bourgeois mode of production in the first three sections of the Introduction to the Grundrisse.. the way in which certain economic relations such as wage-labour. . develop earlier. Relation of previous ideal historiography to the real.this double. machinery etc. In his Introduction to the Grundrisse Marx intends to make use of Hegel’s idealism. Relations of Production). .. The eight items have already been analysed in detail. The fourth section of the Introduction to the Grundrisse evidently fills out Marx’s scheme by criticising the ‘absolute idea’. derivative. 5. 2. and 'identity. 8. Chapter 2 The Chapter on Money and the Doctrine of Being Product. system and method in his Logic. The point of departure obviously from the natural characteristic. Opposition and Contradiction' at the beginning of the Doctrine of Essence. ) .. So far in his discussion Marx has reflected Hegel’s consideration of individual life. and the difference into opposition and contradiction (N 147.. Relation to naturalistic materialism. Marx writes: The simple fact that the commodity exists doubly. third and fifth items). Marx takes up the absolute idea’ in the fourth section.. 3. 4. Dialectic of the concepts productive force (means of production) and relation of production . War developed earlier than peace. After critically reflecting on ‘life’ and ‘recognition’ in the first three sections of the Introduction to the Grundrisse. This conception appears as necessary development. Difference. Modern art etc.g. dialectic. 6.. Accusations about the materialism of this conception. differentiated existence [Existenz] must develop into a difference. And he has studied method. which is written with reference to Hegel's description of 'Identity. applying in the fourth section the summary listed above (first. ‘the simple’ and classification. in which all connection with the natural form of determinate being of the product is stripped away again .. Following Hegel.. life-process and ‘genus’ as discussed in ‘life’ under the ‘idea’ in the Doctrine of Notion. (Grundrisse. Then he gropes for his own historical theory of modes of production. not original relations of production . ‘the beginning’. we mention only their connection with Hegel's Logic.. 7. inherited. art and religion. However. who considers such topics as nature and spirit.. For that reason. commodity and money. which argues the dominance of an ideal subject. and so criticises Hegel’s work as ideology. opposition and contradiction' As noted in the Preface to the present work. the concept of progress not to be conceived in the usual abstractness.
the 'form of exchange-value'. the product is explicitly defined as a commodity when it is the product of capital. The logical relation between presupposition as 'the simple' or the product. 'Determinate being' (Dasein) will be revealed as that which 'essence' (Wesen) has posited as 'ground' (Grund). but as unlike itself. When exchange-value. is further realised as money. From money arises capital. The identity of a simple product with itself is differentiated into dual form: 1. the product as 'the simple' or 'the posited' is a result. which the commodity-owner pursues. Marx thus links the movement 'from product to commodity to money and on to capital' with the movement 'from identity to difference to opposition and on to contradiction'. M 77). and from money arises capital. Therefore the commodity is by nature commodity-capital. as exchange-value (N 142.Why does Marx write in that way? He does so. The product is thus posited or reproduced at the end in order to become the next presupposition. Therefore the product at the beginning of this analysis is de facto that which capital has posited. nor exchangeable with every other commodity in its natural properties. In that work he interprets Hegel's Doctrine of Being as the genesis of the value-consciousness shared amongst the bourgeoisie. Marx has obtained this perspective on the circular relationship of presupposition or 'the posited' from Hegel's 'positing reflection'. When the product is brought into an exchange-relation it becomes a commodity. Marx defines the commodity as follows: The commodity is neither posited as constantly exchangeable. Because the product becomes a commodity. In other words. we must trace it back to capital. as Hegel writes in the transition from 'being' to 'essence'. In the paragraph cited above. the commodity gives rise to money. But now capital posits the product as a commodity. and money gives rise to capital. Marx uses this methodological perspective in the Chapter on Money. For capital. A commodity cannot simply exist as such. This is the logical phase of the logico-historical circulation through which what is historically posited is reproduced as the next presupposition in logic. this opposition will develop into a contradiction within money. into which the value-relation has transformed itself. and 2. It is the semblance of 'essence'. As we shall see later. or when capital posits or produces a product. and so money is generated. Marx grasps the relation between the Chapter on Money and the Chapter on Capital in a similar way. because he is thinking in the following manner. in fact Marx refrains from using this term for a reason explained later). in effect a phenomenology of the bourgeois spirit. is already established in the Introduction to the Grundrisse. This means that the product is posited as a commodity through the capital-relation. and 'the posited' as 'the complex' or capital. 'Positing reflection' at the beginning of the Doctrine of Essence is the determination which mediates 'being' and 'essence'. If we inquire why the product exists as such. . the immanent difference between use-value and exchange-value becomes an external opposition between commodity and money. use-value. The two aspects of the commodity and 'likeness and unlikeness' At the beginning of the Chapter on Money in the Grundrisse. as something unlike itself. not in its natural likeness with itself. The commodity as 'determinate being' is in fact the product which capital has posited. Marx obtains a theoretical perspective on this development. Using this logic Marx connects the commodity with capital in this way. the 'natural form of determinate being of the product' (in other words.
He calls their 'likeness' exchange-value. Thinking of Adam Smith's explanations of exchange and division of labour in The wealth of nations. This two-fold determination of the product as a commodity is based on Hegel's 'pure reflection': 'Likeness is an Identity only of those things which are not the same. which is unconsciously separated from the subjects who form the relation. Marx does not try to discover a definition of identity without differences. He does this in his critique of political economy.8). M 7 7 . It means something that is free from social determinations. we like to see identity. Hegel continues: In the case of difference. or social usevalue. with equal onesidedness. This can occur because of the presumption that an equivalent exchange-value originally exists in each commodity. since it expresses a relation. This third. historical and social determinations are abstracted from 'natural' ones. Both likeness and unlikeness are defined. in short. which people obtain from nature through labour. just as relations in general can only be thought. i. and in the case of identity we like to see difference. Marx considers commodities on a new level. the one of these two categories is often allowed to put the other out of sight and mind. Marx considers in detail how exchange-value is generated and transformed: I equate each of the commodities with a third . exists initially only in the head [of the commodity-owners]. they relate to each other through the exchange of their products. Thus the scientific problem at one time is to reduce existing differences to identity. Exchange-value arises through the action of equating products as commodities. to discover new differences (Shorter Logic §118). on another occasion. Within the range of the empirical sciences. Marx writes as follows: 'Exchange and division of labour reciprocally condition one another.e. human beings as natural force or natural form are directly united with nature itself or natural matter. but in the sense that they hold each other as their own indispensable element. So long as the relations of the primitive community persist. the identity of what is not identical. Then the product is no longer a mere natural 'likeness' but becomes a commodity. What is exchange-value in reality? Marx thinks that it is the relation of private exchange. When members of the community are dissociated into modern individuals. nor one of differences without identity. unlike themselves. not in the sense that they are separated and indifferent to each other.What is 'natural likeness' in the above quotation? Marx uses the word 'natural' as an antonym of 'social'. Therefore the 'natural likeness' or 'natural properties' of the commodity means use-value or 'the product as such'.e. By using Hegel's definition of 'likeness'. when they should be fixed. connected in their own definition. i. but as unlike itself or as exchange-value. but one in which both 'likeness' and 'unlikeness' are mutually mediated. and Unlikeness is a relation of things that are unlike (Shorter Logic §118). In other words. Since everybody works for himself but his product is nothing for him' (N 158. not identical with each other. however. or free from the commodity-money relation. The product as a commodity is not posited in its natural likeness to itself or as use-value. M 91). The commodity-owner . Its use-value now changes into 'use-value for others'. by treating it as the self-recognition of bourgeois society. which differs from them both [the two commodities in exchange]. His critique of Hegel also limits the validity of the Logic to bourgeois society. in distinction from the subjects who relate to each other (N 143. one of the typical empirical sciences. as a conception. The use-value of a commodity for its owner is a non-use-value.
diversity. In diversity each of the different things is by itself what it is.brings his product to exchange. In that discussion he offers an implicit criticism of Hegel's 'causality' as an eternal circular movement. but it may be a use-value or 'being' for others. This relation is therefore external to it. through which the actual conditions of capitalist production are repeatedly reproduced. actually a closed system as defined by Hegel? Is it a progress ad infinitum? Marx argues that this is not the case. Each use-value is different. immediate difference. In that way the real exchange-relation is alienated as exchange-value from the exchangers and is materialised in the commodity. something comparable ( (Shorter Logic §117)) Hegel does not explain 'the third' any further. Marx is surely remembering the following passage from Hegel: Difference is 1. and is indifferent to its relation to any other. the difference falls outside them into a third. After considering the reproduction of the capital-relation in the Grundrisse. but Marx assumes that it is the valueconsciousness of commodity-owners. presupposition or cause is ceaselessly posited by him as a result or effect. each must be equated to another through 'a third'. What is 'the third'? What really exists in the exchange-relation is the use-value of each commodity. and thus there also generates the progress from effects to causes ad infinitum (Shorter Logic § 153). . Because Marx has already grasped the causal relation between capital and labour. In this logical phase. However. This relation exists only in the minds of persons. Reproduction is the actuality of labour which reproduces the past in the present. they presume that exchange-value exists originally in a commodity. Exchange-value is a relation which is abstracted unawares from exchange and transformed into an immanent factor of the commodity itself. The Chapter on Capital and The Doctrine of Essence Part One: Generality of Capital First critique of Hegel's system Is the causal relation between capital and labour. Therefore 'the third' can only be another relation through which products with different use-values are linked. Use-value is non-use-value or 'nothing' for the commodityowner. M 367-417). keep it in mind. What is posited in the logical past as presupposition is reproduced in the logical present as result. which they unconsciously project on to their products and take to be an original feature of the commodity itself. in which the result or effect becomes a succeeding presupposition or cause. Because of the indifference of the diverse things to the difference between them.e. Marx shares Hegel's view of circular causality. In writing the sentences quoted above. Hegel writes: In the finite sphere the difference of the form-determinations in their relation is suspended: cause is alternately determined also as what is posited or as effect. It is what is thought. who relate to each other. i. It is noteworthy that the relation of 'the third' comes to exist only when persons. Though they form the relation of commodity-exchangers. Marx considers the economic forms which precede capitalist production (N 459-515. but in order to be exchanged. they do not notice this mental action. without an awareness that exchange-value derives from an unconscious reflection of the real exchange-relation between their products. this again has another cause.
but an open one. Marx shows that capitalism has a historical existence . Therefore. In this way Marx offers an implicit critique of Hegel's closed system. The recognition of the products as its own. Marx's critique is supplemented by an exposition of the concept 'disposable time' (N 397. existing as simple subjective labour-power separated from the conditions of its life. He argues that capitalism is not a closed system. slavery vegetates to merely artificial existence and has ceased to be able to prevail as the basis of production (N 462 .However. Marx takes up a suggestion from a pamphlet entitled The Source and Remedy of the National Difficulties. Causal reproduction not only brings about the logical past. in the sense that it arose from certain conditions in the pre-capitalist period and did not generate them itself. how they arose in the historical past. Disposable time is exclusively appropriated by the capitalist in the form of surplus-value. and after production. and if capital were willing to pay it without making it labour it would enter the bargain with pleasure. After demonstrating that the logical past or presupposition is repeatedly reproduced in the logical present or result. Therefore capitalism will cease to exist. which follows his account of the accumulation of capital (surplus product and surplus capital) and the reproduction of the capital relation. Marx inquires. the product then appears to it as a combination of alien material. albeit in reverse order. a high level of productivity will be controlled by freely associated workers. Marx also argues that something else is reproduced in demonstrating that the logical past or presupposition is repeatedly the result besides the logical past.as are material and instrument. in order to demonstrate that capitalism is also an open system with respect to its future.is an enormous consciousness. In discussing 'disposable time'.3. However.as alien propery. and the judgment that its separation from the conditions of its actualization is improper . After capitalism. M 305). This happens because almost all of the product is produced with a decreasing amount of labour.forcibly imposed . but it also reveals historical origins buried under the surface appearance of the present. when and where the original presuppositions were posited. the system in which Hegel unconsciously traces the logic of value and capital.a historical origin and a historical limit. Marx writes: Labour-power relates to its labour as to an alien. M 305). This is the historical past. with his consciousness as person. and as much the knell to its doom as. With this motive as an efficient cause. Using his work on pre-capitalist economic formations and on disposable time. itself the product of the mode of production resting on capital. as regards its direction etc. with the slave's consciousness of himself that he cannot be the property of a third. capitalism as a whole drives itself in such a way that the law of value eventually becomes groundless. For Marx capitalism is determined theoretically in such a way that it will eventually cease to operate and hence to exist. alien instrument and alien labour . Deduced from Principles of Political Economy in a Letter to Lord John Russell. the very basis of the law of value. Marx predicts. but otherwise begins the drudgery anew. Individual capitalists increase the productivity of labour in order to obtain extra surplusvalue. it has become poorer by the life forces expended. The human subjects who transcend the 'form' surplus-value and arrive at 'disposable time' are the immediate producers. Marx locates the primitive community and primitive accumulation in his discussion of pre-capitalist economic formations. which he had read in 1851. . capitalism is a paradoxical system. . They are organised and trained under the command of capitalists. 'Wealth is disposable time and nothing more' (N 397. M 370 1). From this pamphlet he quotes the thesis. Thus its own labour is as alien to it and it really is. 1821. in a methodological way. He moves beyond the logical past and investigates the historical origin of the first logical presuppositions.
Part Two: Particularity of Capital Second critique of Hegel's system Thus far one capital has re-emerged from circulation as one capital or a totality. This theoretical recognition results in a new consciousness amongst producers. the wage-labourer is determined as a twofold existence. This process of becoming one totality is presupposed logically and historically by Marx. and gradually they come to believe that something is amiss. In that sense he shows that capitalism is a logico-historical system that is open. The wage-labourer is not only 'arche as hyle' in relation to the capitalist. Therefore the historical origination of capitalism is described after he considers the accumulation of capital. defined in his Introduction to the Grundrisse. they will know what causes capitalist property. Marx has demonstrated the way that capital proceeds from an exchange between capitalist and labourer. he then follows the historical process in which the conditions were actually posited. Here we can see how Marx's phenomenology of mind or spirit is grounded on the critique of political economy. On those presuppositions Marx demonstrates the transition. But this is no longer a simple whole (ein blosses Ganze) of money-capital. but 'arche as eidos' in relation to the means of production. in which circulating and fixed capital once again exclude each other. free funds and the accumulation of money. This is between being an agent for the capitalist and being a productive person. After that logical development. At the peak of its particularisation. Marx's method in constructing a critique of political economy. Marx refers to Hegel's 'positing reflection' in order to clarify the reciprocal relationship between presupposition and positing in the bourgeois economic system as it reproduces itself. and it forms a criterion . Within the labourer's consciousness an antagonistic contradiction arises. The labourer shares a valueconsciousness with the capitalist in exchange. Marx's treatment of this material at the beginning of the Chapter on Capita' is related to Hegel's 'positing reflection'. and so they are its true owners. and then capital as the general notion begins to particularise itself as two kinds of capital circulating and fixed . as it is at the beginning of Marx's consideration of the 'generality of capital'. and they will grasp the basis of their intuition that something is amiss. the two kinds .relations. His task is finished when he discusses pre-capitalist economic formations. in which the conditions for the transition of money to capital are presupposed.according to the specific material moment in which the value of capital is mediated. If the immediate producers follow this demonstration. is one of appropriating the concrete. so the process of reproduction of one capital then forms a complex structure as one totality with particular determinations preserved. in order to reproduce theoretically the structure of bourgeois society in which capital is dominant. a consciousness of the possibilities for human freedom. He then adds that the system has historical presuppositions which were posited in the past. These are based on the premise that what is exchanged is the product of the labourer's own labour. of capital are transformed into each other.Step by step they become aware that capitalist property is only what they themselves have produced. or between being a producer of value and being a producer of use-value. At the beginning of his consideration of the 'generality of capital'. However under capitalism. The development of this consciousness and enlightenment are related to Hegel's conception of 'master and slave' in the Phenomenology. 'Money as capital' has first become the general notion of capital. As already noted. immediate producers are alienated from the results of their labours. In order to clarify their intuitions. In other words the transition from money to capital is now mediated by the pre-capitalist economic formations in which Marx traces the origins of free exchange. showing the indispensable conditions for the genesis of capital. by contrast with Hegel's logical system that is closed and timeless. free labour-power. and that exchange is carried out on the basis of equivalents.
but that the mass of labourers must themselves appropriate their own surpluslabour. . But he also recognises that 'disposable time' is a potential within surplus-value as produced by capitalism. Marx points out that civilised institutions guarantee the right for a small number of non-labourers to appropriate products made by workers. Once they have done so . free time. . The creation of a large quantity of disposable time apart from necessary labour-time for society generally and each of its members (i. Marx also notes that the 'bloody legislation' of Henry VII. as of all earlier ones. Quoting from Sir Frederick Morton Eden's The state of the poor. and therefore at least one part of society must always tirelessly labour. the more does it become evident that the growth of the forces of production can no longer be bound up with the appropriation of alien labour.and disposable time thereby ceases to have an opposite existence . For this. Marx demonstrates that capitalism is an open system with respect to the past. Edward VI and Elizabeth I de facto forced peasants to become wage-labourers for capitalists. M 610). still have the products of diligence at their disposal. alienated from the means of production which remain the property of others. But with his theory of 'disposable time'. This analysis implies a critique of Hegel's view of circular systems as closed. In capitalism workers are separated from the products of their labour. This disposable time corresponds as a potential to the development of workers' organisations. in order to reduce labour-time for the whole society to a diminishing minimum. they are purely the creatures of civilized institutions (N 735. But its tendency always.. as non-labour-time. The more this contradiction develops. and some.for determining which basic conditions are required for capitalism. and he forecasts that they will become aware of their own abilities and powers. he also predicts that capitalism contains within itself a possibility that it will cease to exist in future. hence those of society also). At the end of Marx's discussion of 'particularity of capital'.. and that this potential develops further as fixed capital increases. these proprietors have only civilization and order to thank. The way in which disposable time is removed from the hands of capitalists and freed for the enjoyment of workers is demonstrated theoretically as follows. . and he inquires further how free labourers came to exist in the past.e. despite itself. on the other. This analysis is carried out in the section of the Grundrisse known as Pre-capitalist economic formations. and thus to free everyone's time for their own development. What capital adds is that it increases the surplus-labour-time of the mass by all the means of art and science. Henry VIII. who do not work. [is] to create disposable time. i. (N 708. in that they are citizens with equal rights in modern society. to convert it into surplus-labour . since value directly is its purpose. for a few.e. leaving some of their labour unpaid: Our zone requires labour for the satisfaction of needs. which have for so long been appropriated by capitalists. which include the means of production and the . others labour in the arts etc. Those labourers are 'free' in a two-fold sense. It is thus. this creation of nonlabour-time appears in the stage of capital. or an history of the labouring classes in England from the Conquest etc. instrumental in creating the means of social disposable time. because its wealth consists directly in the appropriation of surplus-labour-time. In that way he describes a phenomenology of mind or spirit that develops towards human freedom. because its conditions of existence were posited in a pre-capitalist period. not use-value. on the one side. . he confirms that the exchange between capital and labour is indispensable to capital-accumulation. M 583 . Thus he shows that capitalism is a historical phenomenon that is open with respect to both past and future. and they are also free. room for the development of the individuals' full productive forces.4).
who holds exclusive sway over the means of production. which is vital to human life. it is neither the direct human labour he himself performs. which is initially in the interest of the capitalist. in a word. but rather the appropriation of his own general productive force. rather. By virtue of this. To obtain this margin. 'Final cause' (telos) for labourers is a representation in advance of the end-product of their activity. and this brings two unexpected effects: relative surplusvalue. the capitalist controls production as the mediator for capital and so monopolises mental labour. and a decrease in the general rate of profit. Their alienation from the products of their own labour amounts to an indefensible separation from 'matter' or nature. The capitalist must educate the labourer as manager and controller of this scientific production-process. This change occurs in the development of the means of production which proceeds from tools. and then takes on the task of mental labour as 'final cause' (telos). because capitalists have exclusive ownership of 'matter' as land and the products of labour. The labourer obtains 'material cause' (hyle) as the means of consumption and engages in labour that is merely physical.means of consumption. It also pushes individual labourers to realise their collective power in terms of scientific knowledge. This relationship between capitalist and labourer can be expressed in terms of Aristotle's theory of 'cause' as follows. and they become obedient to capitalist command. he inserts the process of nature which he transforms into an industrial process. so a process of education. Because of their alienation from 'matter' (hyle) and because of their pressing need for the means of life. Those products are produced from 'matter' by their own labour as 'form'. mastering it. each individual capitalist manages and controls the production-process at the micro-level through rational planning. Each capitalist aims to reduce the value of each individual product in order to obtain a margin between socially established value and the value of an individual product. for which capitalists compete with each other. thus obtaining a surplus-profit. and this alienation from 'matter' causes an alienation from labour as 'form' (telos). and so the value of an individual product decreases. This is alienated to the capitalist. his understanding of nature and his mastery over it through his existence [Dasein] as social body . Marx writes: No longer does the labourer insert a modified natural object as middle link between the object and himself. pursued through the relation of commodity-exchange. which is the power of science made manifest. abstract practice that pursues an increase in the value of capital through identifying and manipulating its various shapes. In this transformation. This innovative aspect of competition transforms the process of production into a scientific process of industrial development. He steps to the side of the production process instead of being its main agency. however. The capitalist forces workers to engage in physical labour. they must alienate their own labour-power once again to the capitalist. the development of the . capitalists introduce machinery in order to increase the productivity of labour. This is 'efficient cause' (arche) under capitalist control. In that way Aristotle's four causes are linked within the production-process of capital. The capitalist has exclusive ownership over the means of production or 'material cause' (hyle). up to machinery. as means between himself and inorganic nature. Skilled physical labour is then replaced by machinery. In Aristotle's terms 'efficient cause' in the productive process is no longer human hands but machinery. Because there is a motive for obtaining surplus-profit. nor the time during which he works. paradoxically realises some of the labourer's potential power. wage-labourers must alienate their labour-power by the hour. This is not the same 'final cause' as occurs in the labour-process. but is rather an alienated. used by skilled labourers. Capitalist practice at that level is 'final cause'.it is. The universal truth that human beings arise from the natural world and cannot live without material contact with nature is deformed under capitalism. On the macro-level. in which human skills are overtaken by a scientific analysis of production as a mechanised process. Desperate for the means of subsistence. the practice of capitalists considered as a whole becomes 'efficient cause'.
After that there is no capital. which is transferred to and preserved in the product. and so it destroys its own basis: . In history so far producers have been alienated from their 'final cause' and forced to labour as an 'efficient cause' through the capital-relation. so they are now free 'subjects' in social production. While the productivity of labour increases without limit. It is because of the profit motive that capitalism develops their mental abilities ('final cause') through an educational system and network of communication. M 581). the durability of machinery improves. and therefore no capitalist or wage-labourer.social individual which appears as the great foundation-stone of production and of wealth. . Surplus-labour-time.. diminishes. M 570). causes the law of value to collapse. which has hitherto been the 'general substance' of capital and the mediator in reproducing the material and subjective conditions of the capitalrelation. the labourer. It [fixed capital] . At the same time. takes on the role of 'final cause'. and Marx includes these notions in his materialism. In that way the value of the product or C + V + S decreases. [now] exists merely as agency for the transformation of the raw material into the product (N 691. extended under capitalist production. so fixed constant capital... human beings arose with the two causes united. then becomes available for workers to apportion into material funds for social investment and 'disposable time' for individual and social development. M 581). In the production process 'efficient cause' or 'agent' is thus transformed from physical labour into machinery. The labourer changes from 'efficient cause' (arche) to 'final cause' (telos). created by large-scale industry itself (N 705. rather than the capitalist.. because of the increased productivity of labour. (N 694. At last they can recover this 'final cause' in a highly advanced form. which derives from striving for surplus-profit. who organise themselves in a scientific system of production. At the same time. regaining their own 'final cause' (telos). and tools are converted from 'material cause' (hyle) into machinery or 'efficient cause'. now begins to vanish from the production-process. to the degree that large industry develops. on which the present wealth is based.. They manage and control the system in accordance with high standards. .. the value objectified in machinery appears as a presupposition against which the valuecreating force of the individual labour-power is an infinitesimal vanishing magnitude . Paradoxically each capitalist's capacity for innovation. The theft of alien labour-time. Instead there are free workers. The main 'efficient cause' of the capitalist production-process changes from skilled labour or 'living labour' to automatic machinery or 'dead labour'. Simultaneously physical labour as 'efficient cause' becomes mental labour or 'final cause'. but this 'final cause' can be regained. but depends rather on the general state of science and on the progress of technology. the creation of real wealth comes to depend less on labour-time and on the amount of labour employed than on the power of the agencies set in motion during labour-time. But in Marx's view. 'living labour' or V + S added to the product tends to diminish almost to zero.. This transition suggests that 'living labour'. and hence the capitalist mode of production. and circulating constant capital cheapens. M 573). or the application of this science to production (N 704-5. appears a miserable foundation in the face of this new one. What nature has given to human beings ('final cause') can be separated from them by human action in society.. whose powerful effectiveness is itself in turn out of all proportion to the direct labour-time spent on their production. This means that capitalist development tends to let the substance of value diminish almost to zero.
inter alia. Both forms were often linked as the surplus-labour of independent small-scale producers was absorbed as mercantile profit or interest through the putting-out system. For Marx the human being arises from a 'material cause' as such (nature naturans). 'efficient cause' as physical ability is. Marx's materialism is associated with a view that human alienation as 'formal cause' is destined to be transcended through its own developments.can be measured. which was then transformed into industrial capital. but in Marx's account it is destined to be reunited with its original 'material cause' and 'final cause' after its cultivation through the historical development of alienated societies. and the degree of this transformation . logical system is actually historical . In that way independent producers were transformed into wage-labourers as their independence became merely nominal. just before writing the Economic and . In discussing the accumulation of capital at the end of I. which he uses as a criterion for discovering what kinds of conditions gave rise to capitalism in the past. and labour-power into a commodity. because they are the property of another person. Generality of Capital. Eventually they were organised into manufacture. labour-power is alienated from the products necessary for its own reproduction. Part Three: Individuality of Capital Third critique of Hegel's system At the end of III. He argues that Hegel's closed. i. Workers buy necessary products with the money which they earn as wages. Marx's study of primitive accumulation is limited to an account of the way that surplus-value is generated as primitive accumulation takes place.'primitive accumulation' . In short. Mental ability is 'formal cause' (eidos) as such.it has an origin in the past and will vanish in future so it is open in both directions. necessary products into commodities. He accomplishes this task by using his theories of primitive accumulation and 'disposable time'. there are four instances of transformation: mercantile capital into industrial capital. When the necessary product has become a commodity. so to speak. Marx quotes Smith's descriptions of commercial capital in The wealth of nations from notes that he made on the French edition. This necessitates another discussion of the way that these 'primitive' conditions are posited historically. the capitalist. develops as a 'formal cause'. because it reflects capitalism in abstract terms.labour-power itself becomes a commodity. he assumes that the basic conditions of capitalism are presupposed. This may be called Marx's phenomenology of mind. Individuality of Capital Marx again criticises Hegel's circular system.e. Marx presents the process of reproduction of capital as apparently eternal. to demonstrate the validity of his materialism. but then he reveals the way that accumulation is dependent on given historical conditions.As explained above. which re-forms 'matter' (nature) and develops human nature itself. The mental ability of the wage-labourer undergoes a developmental process through alienation in capitalist society. The predominant forms of capital were mercantile capital and usury. which is generated on the basis of 'material cause' in the human body. When the commodity-relation covers not only a surplusproduct but also the necessary product . The purpose of Marx's critique of political economy is. In the Grundrisse he begins for the first time to carry out this task systematically.the fund to reproduce the labourpower of the producer . The commodity-relation gains ground. 'Efficient cause' can be temporarily suspended within social relations. 'material cause' in relation to 'final cause' as mental ability. and it is applied to the critique of political economy. and he traces them logically as reproduction takes place through capital accumulation. surplusvalue from mercantile profit into industrial profit. In other words his theory of primitive accumulations requires a theory of the accumulation of capital. At the beginning of his Chapter on Capital in the Grundrisse. which he develops from Hegel's Phenomenology.
losing its presuppositions. But obviously this process of inversion is a merely historical necessity. together with this form of the process. not a merely supposed one existing merely in the imagination of the labourers and the capitalists. eternal system... since he comments that the alienation of wage-labourers is never 'an absolute necessity'. spiritual appropriation of nature) (N 774. For Marx. He has already demonstrated why. Evidently Marx intends to critise not only the bourgeois political economists. In the production of relative surplus-value. physically]. as the organic social body within which the individuals reproduce themselves as individuals. is similar to political economy..philosophical manuscripts (1844).. the conversion of actualization of labour into the loss of actuality] is a real [phenomenon]. i.e. the possibility of which [i. M 698). and the result and the purpose (immanent) of this process is to transcend this basis itself. but also Hegel.. Here again he points out that capitalism will vanish in future. the objective moments of production are stripped of this form of alienation.e. they are thereby posited as property. Marx aims to show that capitalism is never a closed. rather. capitalism will cease to exist. with the positing of the activity of individuals as immediately general or social activity. but one with an origin in the past. in which value and capital do likewise. a vanishing one. Then with his theory of 'disposable time' Marx puts the future of capitalism into perspective. but 'a merely historical necessity'. primitive accumulation]. in which an ideal subject or 'idea' appears to posit itself and all other objects.e. in his view. the relation of value and capital. but in no way an absolute necessity of production. but as social individuals (N 832. this twisting and inversion [i. Here in III. M 698) We have already seen that Aristotle's theory of cause is applied by Marx in his demonstration of the way the alienation of the wage-labourer will be transcended as capitalist society develops. . It is a philosophical expression of its own economic background. These are the presuppositions on which the alienated relation between the capitalist and the wage-labourer is grounded: . or basis. as merely individual. For that reason Marx critically suggests that Hegel's Logic. he writes: . greater productive force of labour] is already posited in the presupposed growth of the population and [its] training to labour (with which determinate free time is also posited for the non-labouring. Therefore it is not 'a supposed' phenomenon existing merely in the imagination of the labourers and the capitalists'. The bourgeois economists are so much cooped up within the representations of a determinate historic stage of development of society that the necessity of the objectification of the social powers of labour appears to them as inseparable from the necessity of their alienation vis-a-vis living labour (N 831-2. Individuality of Capital he also relates this to 'disposable time'.e. not directly labouring population. a necessity for the development of the productive forces solely from a specific point of departure [i. M 645). spiritually] or merely externally [i. it is inevitably conditioned by real persons when it actually appears. Marx foresees the transcendence of capitalist alienation and the possibility of the realisation of freedom: But with the transcendence of the immediate character of living labour. Particularity of Capital of the way that machinery or fixed capital develops.e. He has done this through his analysis in II. Hegel's idealism is not merely philosophical speculation. hence development of spiritual capacities etc. As the basic relation of modern bourgeois society. but 'a real [phenomenon]'. or as general merely internally [i.e. It is rather a real expression of the relations of modern private property.
workers gradually become aware that potential free time is an estranged form of their own productive force. is with itself and combines with itself. In his critique of political economy he characterises contemporary capitalism as the last system of private property. By contrast Hegel asserts that freedom consists in knowing 'absolute necessity' and nothing more: . vanishing in future. will eventually vanish. 'Knowing' is thus the substance of all that is objectified (i. He thinks that the world or cosmos is created in such a way that 'knowing' objectives itself. and to show that it is accompanied by the discovery of the real human subject in practice and the possibility for realising freedom for all.. For Marx. However. That historical necessity. in its relation to the other. is also the process in which their forces are regained. What is objectified is nothing but 'knowing' itself.e. For Hegel necessity does not vanish but reappears as freedom. However. the process of necessity is so directed that it overcomes the rigid externality which it first had and reveals its inwardness. Necessity for Hegel implies this process of 'knowing' coming to know itself. Free 'disposable time' will be realised for them as true wealth. that which has the appearance of an object) and presents itself as subject through its spiritual labour of objectification. Marx's task is to grasp capitalism as a historical necessity. When 'knowing' comes to know itself thoroughly. In the process of tracing capital from 'a whole' to 'one determinate totality'.. He starts from money-capital as 'a whole' and in the end reveals it be 'one determinate totality' in which various moments are bound up with each other. capital. it is transfigured into freedom. in which the consciousness of workers develops. 'absolute knowing'. which is. Exposing the genesis of capital indicates to wagelabourers a possibility for emancipation. Marx's perspective is based on his recognition of capitalist alienation and propertylessness as a 'merely historical necessity'. or .g. For him the universe is what 'knowing' knows. Freedom for Hegel is limited to the theoria of 'absolute necessity'. so for him knowledge alone can count as practice. He grasps the history of alienation as a phenomenological process. in other words. Hegel stays within the sphere of cognition. in Marx s view. but other moments of a whole. and that 'knowing' comes to know itself. Wage-labourers will develop step by step a consciousness alternative to the bourgeois value-consciousness prevalent in capitalist society. necessity as an object of historical knowledge is a historical necessity. so freedom becomes possible when capitalist alienation is reco'gnised as a historical necessity. And he shares with Hegel an understanding that knowledge involves tracing a process of necessity. This process. theoretical recognition of the possibility for freedom embodies a specific claim. and he supports that judgement with his critique of political economy. he reveals the real possibility of practical transcendence. 'The process of necessity' mentioned above appears at first glance to be very similar to the way Marx sees capital. e. His claim is that the possibility for freedom can be changed into an actuality.Potential free time in capitalist society appears in alienated forms and is only partially appropriated by the non-labouring population. because for him 'knowing' is practice itself. This is the transfiguration of necessity into freedom (Shorter Logic § 158). For Marx. each of which. In that way they come to recognise that the force of capital is in fact a perverse form of their own potential. and that it is stimulated as productive forces develop their collective and scientific labour. Thus he points out the mission to realise this possibility for human freedom that rests with the working class. and that such a criterion of realisation is an appropriate one against which to test his theory. by which it then presents what are bound together as not factually alien to each other.
e. Beyond a certain point. he describes capitalism as the last stage of the prehistory of mankind. published in 1859. the abundant development of the social individual .that the development of the productive forces brought about by the historical development of capital itself.. i. it is evident that the material productive force already present. already worked out. a point of entry into its universal history. the development of the productive forces becomes a barrier for capital. in short all conditions of wealth. that of wage-labour. and this casting-off itself is the result of the mode of production corresponding to capital. capital on the other. existing in the form of fixed capital. enters into the same relation. serfdom. i. transcends the self-increasing value of capital. hence the capitalrelation [becomes] a barrier for the development of the productive forces of labour. is thereby cast off like a skin. In the famous Preface to that work.e. together with the scientific power and the population etc. on one side. when it reaches a certain point. which human activity assumes. and is necessarily stripped off as a fetter. are themselves results of its production process (N 749.the last stage of prehistory of class societies in the natural history of mankind. as the guild system. capital. instead of positing it... [tending] towards the development of social wealth and productive forces. material and mental conditions of the negation of wage-labour and of capital. a classless society. M 622-3). . that the greatest conditions for the reproduction of wealth. The subjective and objective conditions for advancing to human history proper. The last shape of servitude. wage-labour. and after completing that draft. he prepared the finished manuscript for publication. That rewritten version is the so-called original text of A contribution to the critique of political economy. In the passage above from the Grundrisse Marx comes to a conclusion that enables him to rewrite his manuscript Chapter on Money. When it has reached this point. slavery. themselves already the negation of earlier forms of unfree social production. thus mature in capitalism: .
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